Back in Santa Monica! With this one just blocks away from the most iconic gym in the country, it should gain the attention of many fitness enthusiasts! Take a look and see what Nick’s eating this week!

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I’ve been recommended The Firehouse by several people, Mike being one of them. [By the way, you following him yet?]

Walked in and looked like a deer in headlights, I’m sure. It was open seating but this dumb ole Texan didn’t realize that and ended up asking someone who didn’t even work there if they were dog friendly.

She said, “I don’t know if they are but I am!” and began petting my dog. Sophie made a lot of friends this day. I think it’s a requirement; if you live in Santa Monica, you must have a dog.

Typically, I would’ve just walked right in and sat down; but, I wasn’t sure if they were dog friendly or not. Honestly, I’m still not 100% sure if they’re dog friendly or not. Regardless, we dined.

Here’s the review…

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Atmosphere
Open air and beach-ie (seems to be my MO)… they didn’t go overboard with the firehouse theme. In fact, when I first walked in I questioned if I were in the right place or not. There were a few items on the wall but far from elaborate.

I found it kind of weird that there was a sushi bar in right in the middle of large room. For whatever reason, I was not expecting there to be sushi.

Score: 6.7

Service
Pretty “hands off service” type of place. My water stayed full and they even provided Sophie a bowl of water that was almost big enough for here to swim in. Food came fast.

Would’ve definitely scored this a 6.0 but will add a few points because the water provided to my little mutt.

Score: 6.3

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View / Ambiance
The Firehouse sits right off of Main Street just a couple of blocks from the Gold’s Gym (click the link to see Mike and I training at “The Mecca”). The beach is just a few blocks in the opposite direction.

There was a nice little porch area, where you could sit and watch the traffic go by. You could also people watch which is always a good time in Santa Monica.

This is the kind of place you don’t feel bad about walking in sweaty and smelly after an intense gym session.

Score: 6.5

Social Media
Pretty much non-existent. While this place is probably popularized by the bodybuilders walking to and from Gold’s Gym, I’ve still got to count off for the lack of social media.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again….

“It’s 2017, if you don’t have Instagram, you don’t exist.”

Lot’s of room for improvement to be made here. They didn’t even have a website. May have to forgo adding the social media score to this one…

Score: 2.3

Food / Drink
Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…. pew, pew, pew, pewwwwww!!!

I got a solid tip from a local on what to order here.

[Side note: do you know how rare it is to meet somebody that’s actually from Los Angeles?? They are a rare find! To date, I’ve met only a handful. Most people, myself included, are transplants from all over the world.]

The recommendation was the chicken pasta. I was hesitant at first. I’m not a huge fan of pasta; but, I decided to pull the trigger on it.

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Lot’s of pasta, a solid 6 oz of chicken, and marinara sauce you could eat with a spoon! Honestly, the chicken and pasta were not memorable but the marinara sauce will forever hold a spot in the conversation of top marinara sauces.

It was thick and not runny, just how I like it. I didn’t even need to put salt on it. It was that good. (disclaimer: I did end up putting a few dashes of salt towards the end just to make it a bit better.)

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I bumped up the score because of the uniqueness of the menu. Take a looksies!

Score: 7.5

Price
It was a little pricey. $14 for a chicken breast and 2 cups worth of pasta is a bit much. The marinara sauce almost made it justifiable but for all I know, it could’ve come from a can.

I, by no means, am a marinara sauce connoisseur and would find it difficult to distinguish between different sauces, at least for the time-being.

Nothing glorious here.

Score: 5.2

Overall
The Firehouse is a solid place. For the non-bodybuilders out there, I don’t think you’d be missing out on much by forgoing this place. However, for the bodybuilder looking for the total experience of visiting Venice / Santa Monica, it may be worth your while.

You can snag a great meal after a solid training session at a top notch gym. And who knows, you may just see the Terminator while training.

(Pro Tip: Arnold trains early. If you want to catch him,  set that alarm my friend!)

I didn’t include the social media score into the overall. If I would’ve score would’ve been in the mid 5’s. The Firehouse was a bit better than that!

Score: 6.4

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that these reviews are a bit strict and several factors come into play. However, food / drink carry the most weight.

A 6.4 score is not that bad. Please review my scoring post to see why I review the way I do.

To ensure that you have a great dining experience, remember, never break the cardinal rule!

Until next time, my food loving friends! Have a good weekend.

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